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Part I: Icenetwork.com picks faves from 2011-12

Our correspondents share the things they liked most about this past season

Meryl Davis and Charlie White may not have won the world championship, but their "Die Fledermaus" free dance drew rave reviews.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White may not have won the world championship, but their "Die Fledermaus" free dance drew rave reviews. (Getty Images)

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By icenetwork.com
(04/27/2012) - Icenetwork.com asked its correspondents to name some of their favorite things from the 2011-12 season. Here's Part I.


Vladislav Luchianov

Best program: Meryl Davis and Charlie White's "Die Fledermaus" free dance -- A fantastic interpretation of the theme and music.

Best performances: Akiko Suzuki's "Hungarian Rhapsody" short program at the 2012 World Team Trophy and Daisuke Takahashi's "Blues for Klook" free skate at the World Team Trophy

Best rivalry: German pair Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy vs. Russian pair Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov

Biggest upset: Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir winning ice dancing gold over Davis and White at the 2012 World Championships in Nice, France

Favorite breakthrough performance: Elizaveta Tuktamisheva's performances in her Grand Prix Series events, 2011 Trophée Eric Bompard and 2011 Skate Canada.

Best comeback story: Russian Evgeni Plushenko at the 2012 European Championships in Sheffield, England -- Strong, confident and glorious comeback.

Best moment: Julia Lipnitskaia of Russia winning the 2012 World Junior Championships in Minsk, Belarus, with new world junior scoring records -- Technically and artistically strong performances.

Favorite skating outfits: Alissa Czisny outfits for her "La Vie en rose" short program and "Valse triste" free skate -- Perfect examples of beauty and elegance.


Klaus-Reinhold Kany

Best program: Savchenko and Szolkowy's Pina free skate

Best single performance: Carolina Kostner's free skate at the 2012 World Championships

Best rivalry: Virtue and Moir versus Davis and White

Favorite breakthrough performance: Javier Fernández at 2011 Skate Canada

Best comeback story: Plushenko at the 2012 European Championships

Best moment: Narumi Takahashi and Mervin Tran celebrating in the kiss and cry at the 2012 World Championships after finding out they had won a medal


Jean-Christophe Berlot

Best program: Czisny's "Valse triste." I witnessed Alissa's nightmare in Nice, but I also was privileged to see her victory (in the free skate) in Paris. I did not think that such a program could still be skated today. Alissa didn't just skate; she WAS the music. For the anecdote, and against all odds, I decided to put her on the cover of the worlds issue of the French Patinage magazine. Even though Nice turned into a nightmare, I do not regret my choice one second.

Best single performance: Davis and White's free dance in Nice. When some tumble on twizzles, they accelerate. Their feet are the fastest of all; their moves are the most precise of the field. Their free dance was a monument, and the audience's vibrant concentration throughout even dramatized it. They will not be in the gold medal book this year, but they will remain as the emeritus 2012 world champions forever. If the best performance is the one one remembers because one could not even breathe and felt one's heart go "bang bang," then it is theirs.

Best rivalry: Takahashi and Patrick Chan. Two completely different styles -- quite different approaches to skating -- and at the same time, a great value to our sport. They are rivals and yet they both bring to the sport what they have in common. If the best rivalry is the one which creates value, then theirs is a model.

Best comeback story: Brian Joubert at the world championships. Joubert had been much criticized in the last several months. Press and supporters considered him already as a "has been" (or even "had been"!) and strongly suggested that he stop his career. He even did not consider creating a new free skate program this season, electing to switch back to his 2004 Matrix. Throughout the season he justified that this was just meant as a "confidence builder, not a winning program." His showing in Nice was superlative, and his fourth-place overall finish might have a bittersweet taste: Had he crafted a new program more in line with the international judging system, worked more on his spins and steps, his Nice performance might have won him his 17th championship medal. Brian's overwhelming joy coming out of the ice in Nice was a delight to watch and share. If a champion is also one who manages to pursue his childhood dreams, then Joubert is definitely a true champion.

Best moment: Kostner's victory in Nice. If the best moment is one you've been striving for, then Carolina's first gold medal is a hit!

Favorite outfit: Volosozhar and Trankov's outfits for their free Black Swan free skate. I must say that as such, I would not have liked their outfit, as it was a bit "too much." But it suited them, and they valued it. If a great outfit is something that only you can wear, then theirs comes first. I should mention also Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat's mummy outfit: French fashion at its best!